Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 14, 2013

Lake Park residents included in fraud indictment

Case claims child-support extortions

MACON — A federal grand jury couldn’t dismiss all of the prosecution’s evidence against a pair of Lake Park residents and a Florida man who have been indicted in a fraud case.

Essentially, the case involves the siphoning of money from state child-support agencies through extortion of both custodial and non-custodial parents then laundering more than $665,000 in “love gifts” through Faith Landings Christian Center in Florida, according to the indictments issued by the Valdosta Division of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Investigators implicated Child Support Services of Atlanta, Inc., Child Support Services, Inc., McCoy & Associates, Inc., and Faith Landings Christian Center in an operation that was established no later than 2007, according to federal court records.

A federal indictment alleges that the three defendants were engaged in a business that collected child-support payment from both non-custodial under court order to pay child support as well as non-custodial parents who weren’t court ordered to pay. The defendants allegedly used various methods to identify both custodial and non-custodial parents through public records, search engines and telephone directories, according to the indictment.

The indictment further alleges the use of deceptive methods to coerce victims into signing contracts for collection services, diverting some away from a payment arrangement with the state, and accused the defendants of drafting documents that resembled those transmitted from state agencies.

Victims were harassed by phone, fax, and mail with threats of arrest warrants, license suspensions and wage garnishments, stated the indictment. Some of the fraudulent documents reportedly appeared as court summonses and others looked like official case reviews.

In some cases, state child-support agencies were reportedly contacted by defendants under the guise of their victims, in order to divert correspondence between the state and parents to an address managed by the suspects, stated the indictment.

Stuart C. Cole, 58, of St. Pete Beach, Fla., Mark C. Simpson, 50, of Lake Park, and Stephanie Simpson, 30, of Lake Park are indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud; conspiracy to commit extortion by interstate communication and mail, reports stated.

The mail and wire fraud charge is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and the count of extortion carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison with a fine up to $250,000 possible for both charges, according to court records.

Mark Simpson and Cole also face charges of money laundering conspiracy, three counts of money laundering, and one count of obstruction of justice, according to reports.

Money laundering conspiracy is punishable by up to 20 years and a fine up to twice the amount laundered, while money laundering bears a sentence of up to 10 years and a possible fine of up to $250,000, reports stated. Obstruction of justice is punishable by up to 20 years and carries a possible fine up to $250,000, according to reports.

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, along with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, investigated this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140417-Rail_Plan-001.jpg State Transportation seeks public input on rail plan

    The Georgia Department of Transportation held public meetings across the state this week to discuss its 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-valdosta_appr#10C8BA.jpg Officials serve lunch to city employees

    The City of Valdosta hosted its annual employee appreciation luncheon Thursday at John W. Saunders Memorial Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-Wiregrass003.jpg Wiregrass learns through play

    For three years, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has hosted its Wired Up! event to engage students, faculty and staff in a fun but educational activity day.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • rain.jpg More spills? Valdosta braces for more rain

    In the past four weeks, Valdosta has experienced four major rain events that dumped more than three to four inches of rain on the area per incident.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140117-Scott_SGMAC-001.jpg Moody in running for Afghan pilot mission

    Moody Air Force Base is one of three military bases being considered for a temporary mission to train Afghan pilots next year, Rep. Austin Scott told the South Georgia Military Affairs Council Thursday.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City: Most overflows stopped

    The City of Valdosta reported Wednesday evening that all manhole overflows resulting from Tuesday’s heavy rains had stopped, with the exception of two.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140416-gov_deal002.jpg Signed into law

    Gov. Nathan Deal went on a signing tour Wednesday across Georgia, flying into the Valdosta Regional Airport to sign three bills into law.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2 charged in N.C. kidnapping

    Two more people were charged in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor’s father, bringing the number to at least eight people who authorities say were involved in the elaborate plot.

    April 17, 2014

  • VSU opens spring senior art show Saturday

    Several graduating art seniors will present their show this weekend at Valdosta State University.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results